The last weeks I keep receiving questions about the situation of Greece regarding the coronavirus issue. Many readers want to learn about the current situation and what measures Greece has taken regarding tourism in Greece this summer.
I am going to update this post as often as possible and I am also going to answer to your questions, so feel free to ask me on the comments and I will add the information on the post.
I will try to use official information and I will put sources as this is a very important subject.
What happened till today in Greece because of the coronavirus pandemic?
Greece got in total lockdown on 13th March.
This happened in spite that on that point the coronavirus cases were quite low, around 190 and 1 death was reported at that date (data by Worldometer). Getting the tough measures so early, I think it was quite critical and helped to flatten the curve and keep the cases and most importantly the deaths quite low.
This gave time to the government to prepare the health system and increase the health personnel and get more ICU beds, monitors, respirators etc. (Data by Health System Response Monitor (HSRM))
If you want to learn more about the actual cases and death statistics in Greece today, then you can check Worldometer website here.
What are the restrictions in Greece because of Coronavirus?
Greece started lifting the coronavirus measures on 4th May.
- May 4: A mask or facial cover is mandatory in public transportation, taxis, elevators, hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres. Masks are recommended in supermarkets, hair salons and other enclosed spaces. Violators may be fined 150 Euros.
- May 11: Remaining retail stores except for malls and department stores open.
- May 25: Shopping malls, department stores, and hotels that operate year-round open. Restaurants and coffee shops operate only open-air premises (may be opened as early as May 25).
- June 1: Shopping malls, department stores, and hotels that operate year-round open.
- Early June: Opening of entertainment and sports venues (cinemas, theatres, entertainment centers, gyms, etc.), with social distancing and at 60% capacity.
- 15 June: Seasonal tourist accommodations open, restoration of regular sea ferry traffic to the islands. This is when the Greek government opens the islands for tourism.
Source: US Embassy in Greece
On the measures will be monitored daily and if it needed immediate changed will be taken place.
What about the measures that are related to travelling to Greece, like flights and hotels?
The hotels that have a license to be open 12 months a year will open on 1 June. On 15th June all the seasonal hotels will be open as well. Also, very soon the will be announced the health protocols that will accompany these hotels openings.
Regarding the flights have been cancelled. Only specific routes are yet permitted and anyone arriving in Greece is obliged to be into self-isolation for a period of 14 days with a fine for those that will follow this. This applies till the end of May.
- No flights between Greece and Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and the Netherlands until the end of May. Flights to Germany began May 18. See Flights to/from the United States.
- Non-EU citizens may not enter Greece until 11:00 p.m. on June 15. Exceptions include spouses or minor children of EU/Schengen nationals, long-term residents, members of government delegations, and passengers in transit. Check with your airline for document requirements as your marriage certificate or your children’s birth certificates may be required to board.
New Rules for Air Travel
The following measures will take effect from Monday, May 18 until Sunday, May 31.
- Face masks are mandatory for all airline passengers and flight attendants.
- The use of mobile apps, where available, is encouraged for services such as ticket booking and check in.
- Passengers must maintain a distance of 1 to 1.5 meters from one another in the waiting areas, at gates and when boarding a flight.
- A special boarding process has been set up with passengers boarding in smaller groups, to avoid overcrowding.
- Where there are boarding bridges, boarding is done only from the front door.
- Where possible, passengers are transported from the gate to the aircraft on foot.
- Where a track bus is used to transfer passengers from the gate to the aircraft, only 50 per cent of its capacity may be covered.
- Water, hand sanitizers and snack packages can be found at the entrance of the aircraft or at the boarding gate so that passengers can collect them by themselves.
- Immediately upon arrival at the airport, the aircraft cabin must undergo cleaning in accordance with an enhanced antiseptic program, before being allowed to continue flying.
Source: GTP news
Also on 20/05/20 has been announced that:
- Tourists will be allowed to enter Greece without taking a coronavirus test or remaining in quarantine when international flights restart on July 1, but health officials will conduct spot tests when required.
- Flights will initially only land in Athens’ International Airport when services resume on June 15.
- Flights will start operating again from all the airports as of July 1st. The first tourists will be from countries where epidemiological data is encouraging and mentioned the Balkans (Bulgaria) and countries in northern Europe, such as Germany. The full list from which countries will start the flights will be announced at the end of May.
Ok, I will fly to Greece but what preparations have been made regarding the healthcare capacity of the most touristy destinations?
It has been announced that authorities are boosting the healthcare capacity of several tourist destinations by providing tests and doctors, as well as an operational plan for the handling of possible infections (a hotel doctor, quarantine areas and transfer to a health facility).
Source: Kathimerini News
If you have any specific question, please leave me a comment and I will reply as soon as possible.